Little Compton schools react to CT crisis


LITTLE COMPTON — In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy in Connecticut on Friday, Little Compton crisis intervention staff met Friday afternoon in preparation for the presence Monday in school of the school psychologist and guidance counselors, should any students require assistance.

School Superintendent Kathryn Crowley confirmed Saturday that a full school staff meeting Monday at 8 a.m. would take place in the school, that would include teachers, the school's psychologist, and Little Compton Police Chief Sidney Wordell.

"Personally, I don't have words to explain how I feel about this," said Superintendent Crowley. "It's just so horrific it's hard to put your hands around. You almost feel helpless. When you think about those children, it goes beyond words."

She said school superintendents from Tiverton, Little Compton, Middletown, and Portsmouth had talked Friday, and that locally school officials and staff are staying in constant touch with each other, and are being instructed in how to talk with children. "We have to take all precautions possible to keep our children safe and will continue to do that," she said.

In an e-mail sent to parents (that due to Cox email outages over the weekend may not have been received by many Little Compton parents), Ms. Crowley said, "Please know that the Wilbur and McMahon Schools does everything in its power to ensure the safety of your child and the staff that work here.  Our children and staff have successfully participated in numerous fire drills, evacuations and lock-down drills and have completed all drills successfully."

She then detailed some of the ways that parents and the community members can help school officials and staff implement safety procedures, that include:

"• When entering the school report directly to the main office and sign in with your reason for the visit.  At that time a visitor badge will be given;

• Upon leaving the school report back to the main office and return the visitor badge and sign out;

• When picking up students after school, report to the cafeteria.  The doors to the cafeteria will be locked until 2:45 p.m.;

• If at all possible have your child ride the school bus provided.  This would eliminate extra people within the school building and extra cars in the school parking lot;

• If your child is having difficulty or safety concerns please contact the school nurse or guidance counselor for assistance."

Superintendent Crowley identified two reference websites that can used for further information about crisis intervention:

From the National Association of School Psychologists:

A Bradley Hospital site about talking with children about tragedies:

Ms. Crowley said, "as more information becomes available we will continue to reach out to the parents and community.  Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go out to the staff, students, families and community who have experienced this horrible tragedy."




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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.